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Here’s How to Choose the Perfect Event Venue

Finding a venue for a party can be quite a task for a couple planning their first wedding or even an experienced event planner.  The venue you choose will have the most impact on your event.  Online event venue search engines and event venue listings make the choices infinite to find a venue for a party, so knowing how to choose the perfect event venue will help to save you time, effort, and hassle.

Know Your Event Budget

Anyone can have the best event ever when resources are unlimited, but knowing what your limitations are from the beginning will save time and help keep your search limited to venues that are within your budget.

If you’re a couple looking for the perfect wedding venue, first check out our free Wedding Budget from Mountain Event Services spreadsheet.

Wedding Venue the Stanley Hotel

Who Are Your Guests?

We don’t mean you need to know each guest by name, but know how many guests will be coming and what they are like.   Your event location should both accommodate the number of guests you expect, but should also be suitable for the guests.  Know what your attendees like and dislike, what they are accustomed to, and their average income.  This will help you choose a venue that fits their needs and taste.  Know where they are coming from and how mobile they are.  This will help you choose a venue that’s convenient, such as a hotel venue for an event with a lot of out-of-town guests, or a venue that’s close to home for local guests.

Pick the Perfect Event Date

And have back-up dates ready if possible, just in case.  Consider when your attendees are available to travel.  What is the best time frame for you to plan and prepare for your event?  Depending on the type of event you’re planning, you may have to be flexible with either the date in order to get the venue you want or you may have to be flexible with the venue in order to get the date you want.  Also, the cost of your venue may vary by date due to the laws of supply and demand.  A Wednesday in January will probably cost you less than a Saturday in July.

Holiday Event

Search for Event Locations

Identify locations for the event to be held now that you have a potential date and estimate of guests.  Consider the type of event you’re having.  What three types of places come to mind?  Where do you think your guests would like to attend an event?  What will be most convenient for them?  Be creative in your thinking: hotels and event centers are always a standard option, but consider a non-traditional venue like an open warehouse, a historic loft or rooftop, a farmhouse or barn, or an art gallery or museum – there are many options to fit the style of your event.

What Services Does the Venue Provide?

Do they provide catering and/or a bar onsite or will you have to bring these services in?  Are there tables, chairs and linens?  Is there a setup and cleanup crew?  Does your venue provide good parking or valet service?  Do they offer event security?  Does the venue have built-in AV equipment?  Does this venue have food and beverage minimums?  Does this venue restrict the vendors you can work with?

 

Ambiance and Layout

The less the venue already matches your desired results, the more you’ll have to spend to get it the way you want it.  What does the building’s interior convey?  Will the layout allow for all the activities you want and for traffic to flow through your event?

Knowledge, Reputation, Experience

The difference between a good event and a great event can come down to the service the venue provides to you and your guests.  Does the venue have videos or photos from similar events so that you can get some ideas for your event?  What’s the ratio of service staff to guests on event day? What is the tenure of the venue’s management team?  Does the venue offer to be flexible for you?

Wedding Reception Sparklers

What are the Fees and What do They Include?

What is the venue rental fee?  Are taxes included?  What else is included in the fee?  What is NOT included in the fee?  What is the price per person for food and drink?  In addition to the venue fees, find out any other fees required (for example, a minimum number of hotel rooms, bartender set-up fees, etc).  Find out if they require you or your vendors to be insured.  Find out the deposit amount, payment schedule, and cancellation/refund policy.

 

Do A Site Visit

Once you have narrowed down to your top venue choices for your event, visiting your venue before the event is essential.  Since most visits happen during business hours or on Saturday mornings and since most events happen in the evening or on Saturday night, Before you sign that contract, go back for a second visit during the same time of day you’ll be having your event.  You may learn that there was something you liked during the day about your venue that you do not like in the evening – it could be something as simple as the way the light fills the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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